Energy and carbon management

  • Bonavero Institute of Human Rights by John-Cairns

Carbon Reduction

In 2011, the University of Oxford set an ambitious target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 33% by the end of 2020/21 (against a 2005/6 baseline). A generous budget has been allocated to the Carbon Reduction Programme and Estates Services is working together with departments to achieve that target. To find out more view the Carbon Management Strategy (1,526kb) and Carbon Management Plan (486kb)

Scope 1: These are emissions that arise directly from sources that are owned or controlled by the University, for example fuels in our boilers or the vehicles owned by departments 

Scope 2: These are the emissions generated by purchased electricity and steam, and heat consumed by the University

Find out what the Environmental Sustainability Team is doing by following the links below. More information on how to identify and carry out your own projects can be found on the resources page.

Carbon Management Fund

Funding is available for carbon reduction projects, and can be applied for by contacting the Environmental Sustainability team. To qualify for full funding, a project should average £670 per tonne of carbon saved. This is calculated as the total cost of the project divided by 12 months of carbon savings. Where projects do not meet this requirement there may be part-funding opportunities, which can be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

To find out more about funding subsidies for Ultra Low Temperature Freezer: .

For more information please contact the Environmental Sustainability team at sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk

Carbon Compliance

Carbon Compliance

Oxford University’s Environmental Sustainability team is responsible for collating and reporting the carbon and energy performance of the estate. Data is required to comply with a number of different schemes. A summary of these schemes is provided below. Returns are managed by our Energy Manager and Deputy Energy Manager. If you have any queries relating to Carbon Compliance please contact the Environmental Sustainability team sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk

EUETS – European Union - Emissions Trading Scheme

The EU-ETS scheme is the cornerstone of the EUs policy to combat climate change and is based on a cap and trade system. The scheme sets a capped limit on carbon emissions for each country. One ‘Carbon Credit’ is the equivalent of one tonne of carbon emitted. A number of free credits are allocated and these are reduced each year, generating a market for buying and selling carbon credits, and encouraging businesses to reduce their carbon emissions. To find our more visit the EUETS website. EUETS website

The science area is the only area of the University estate that falls under the EU-ETS scheme. The annual gas consumption for each specified meter is reported and verified annually. The annual related carbon emissions are publicly available on the HESA website. If annual emissions are above the allowance set by the Government, the University will have to purchase additional allowances. If there is a surplus remaining, the University is free to sell them, or carry them over into succeeding years. To date the University has not had to purchase any additional Carbon Credits. 

CRC - Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme

CRC is a government scheme aimed at improving energy efficiency and cutting emissions from the 5,000 largest UK organisations by 1.2m tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2020. These organisations are responsible for around 10% of the UK’s emissions.

The University is required to report all electricity and gas usage, with the exception of the science area which is covered by the EU-ETS scheme. Payments are made per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted.  Departments are re-charged their share of CRC costs. 

Further details of the scheme, including an annual performance league table that ranks participants on energy efficiency performance, can be found on the Department of Energy and Climate Change website.

ESOS – Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme

ESOS is a mandatory energy audit scheme requiring companies to review their energy consumption, to set strategies to reduce their consumption, and to report their progress to the Environment Agency every four years.  The University submitted data to ESOS for the first time in 2015.

To find out more visit: ESOS Guidance 

DECs – Display Energy Certificates

Display Energy Certificates are displayed in buildings to show the actual energy usage of a building and rank performance against standard benchmarks. DECs help the building users to see the energy consumption figures of their building.

For more information on DECs please: Improving energy efficiency of our buildings.

Billing and metering

Electricity and gas bills are managed centrally by the Energy team in Environmental Sustainability. This ensures that we are able to monitor and purchase energy at the best price for all of our users. Bills are generated using automatic (AMR) meters where possible and manual readings where AMR meters are not present. Bills are generated using main meters and then further distributed to departments using sub meter readings or in some cases split by % floor area occupied. 

Bills and energy usage can be viewed online at SystemsLink. Training is available for users, please sign up at Please sign up

Guidance documents are available to help interpret your bills.

For general metering enquiries please contact sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk

Additional meters can be installed upon request, though there may be a charge for this service.

Contact sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk for the following services:

  • Connection of existing electricity meters to the ION system so that they can be seen on the online system
  • Installation of heat meters and connection to the BMS system/ION system and online system

For all billing enquiries please contact Andrea Isham – andrea.isham@admin.ox.ac.uk

For example:

  • If a bill reading is estimated and you have an actual meter reading or are having problems obtaining a meter reading for a re-bill
  • If you believe there is an error with the bill
  • If you are moving in or out and need to give us start and end meter readings, or you are having problems obtaining the readings.
  • You have changed mailing addresses and/or charge codes
  • You have a bill payment query

Management of supply points

Contact sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk for the following services:

  • Installation of a new electricity, gas, or water connection
  • Removal of an old electricity, gas or water connection